Do you remember when you were ten? Every cool new thing you came across was the ticket to sharing something with your friends. Sure, there was the show off factor but I’m sure you were still genuinely happy to see your friends get a kick out of your new thing. I remember one parent describing this as the new “million dollar thing”. If one child has something then the other will want it (regardless of the real world price) so it becomes the million dollar thing. For anyone who has two children this applies to any little piece of crap the kids will find lying around. If one has it, the other one automatically wants it so the value shoots right up to a million dollars immediately.
At some point we grow up and go to work and think “if only I had a million dollar thing then I could really have a million dollars” and we stop sharing and stop looking for the simple kick we felt when showing our new thing when we were kids at the expense of trying to hoard our new things to really try to have the million bucks. We didn’t feel this as children. There wasn’t the idea of someone stealing our million dollar thing because, well, it was my thing. If I told someone then the kudos would automatically come back to me.
Everyone grew up and found jobs and some smart cookie came up with the term “social networking” which is a way to try to persuade adults to act like kids with their million dollar stuff. To try to make them share again. It’s not easy so some other smart cookie who invented blogs made it possible for millions of people to blog away and talk about the merits of sharing. Some people have even made careers out of becoming the new gurus of trying to make people share again (the rules aren’t the same for them because they charge a thousand dollars a day to tell you how to give stuff away for free).
Is it working? Are we all going to go back to having the sharing mentality of ten year olds? Should we? I don’t know. My job is to help people communicate and part of efficient communication is the capacity to listen to the conversations and, well, share. This post pricked my little ears up, have a think about it.